Italian Pesto Recipe

Difficulty: Easy | Makes: 4 servings

Like many Italian foods, pesto is a simple combination of ingredients that are local and plentiful there: olive oil, herbs, nuts, cheese, garlic. But deceptively simple. The key is balance among the flavors and especially balance in the olive oil itself. All olive oils are not created equal. We use Primo extra virgin olive oil for our pesto. Fresh and strongly fruity but with no lingering bitterness, Primo provides the harmony that makes this sauce sing.

  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves (1 ounce of leaves)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (2-1/2 ounces) or a mixture of pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons cheese, grated (.5 ounce) -- Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano, Pecorino-Romano
  • 1/4 cup Primo extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  1. Purée the herbs, garlic, nuts, and cheese in a food processor with the metal blade.
  2. Add Primo extra virgin olive oil. Taste and add salt if it needs it. This makes a little less than one cup of dipping strength pesto.
  3. To use it on pasta, add a bit more Primo extra virgin olive oil or a couple of spoonfuls of the water you heat for the pasta. Go green with Primo Pesto on spinach pasta.

Member recipes are not tested by the CHOW food team.